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April 2000 - I have been doing some work on my "new" 76 Coupe, trying to get it ready for some serious road time traveling to car shows. First, I had to replace the alternator and voltage regulator as my alternator light came on and stayed on. There was a dead short in the alternator, and I figured I might as well replace the regulator too. While I was at it, I put in all new belts and hoses and flushed the cooling system. Total cost - $140. Next, I replaced the upper and lower ball joints on both sides after an inspection revealed that two of the ball joints were noticeably worn and had no boots - $106. While I was under there, I noticed that the wide tires (which were on the car when I bought it) were very close to the tie rod ends, and had been rubbing occasionally - not good. I stopped in at HP Motorsports and picked up a set of 7/16" wheel spacers for $15 and problem solved. I also replaced the power steering return line, which was leaking - $2.50 plus $2 for power steering fluid.
I've been somewhat unhappy with the droopy rear on my Coupe, as the custom-installed hitch is very close to the ground, so I got a set of spring clamps ($10) and raised the rear a little over 1". I checked the oil and found that it seemed rather thin, and smelled of gas, so, having had this problem with my other 76 Coupe, I knew that the fuel pump was leaking gas into the crankcase, and a new pump would have to be installed. I will also replace the very tired rubber fuel lines and filter while I'm at it. Total there - $27, plus $12 for oil and filter. I also put in a carb rebuild kit ($36) to prepare for the trip to the first show up in South Dakota on May 6. The float level and needle and seat settings were WAY off, which could also explain the gas in the oil and the terrible gas mileage of 9 mpg! Isn't owning an older used car fun?! Seriously, I don't mind it at all. Where else could I find a cool used car with serious style and power to use as a daily driver and show car for well under $4000 (including all the parts)?